Microsoft’s MAP (4 out of 5)
The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit known as (MAP) assesses your infrastructure and helps you determine your Information Technology needs. This tool runs in all IT departments regardless of size. The MAP toolkit allows you to not only assess your network, but provides a powerful inventory solution along with a reporting tool. The MAP toolkit allows these processes to work without an agent on each computer thus saving administrative time and money. With SQL required as a tool for this software to run, MAP will download SQL Server2005 Express if necessary during the install. The Solution Accelerator helps with the migration to other operating systems and Microsoft applications.
There are three main functions of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit. These functions include hardware inventory, readiness reporting and a compatibility analysis. The secure agent free service inventory tool collects and organizes device information and system resources on any size network. Many software tools require agent installation on each workstation. This type of install can cause an initial logistical issue of installation on each workstation. This can also cause problems with keeping the agents up to date with the latest releases.
This software (MAP) works even if antivirus, anti malware or the firewall is turned on.
With MAP, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), remote registry services, Active Directory, SNMP and the computer browser helps with the discovery process without the software agent. The operating systems supported include operating systems equal to or greater than windows 2000. This includes newer software such as Windows Server 2008 and Vista.
The generated reports give a summary and detailed assessment for different scenarios that your information technology department may be planning. These reports include the identification of the operating systems and hardware. This report is particularly import report when migrating to Microsoft Windows Vista or advanced operating systems. When migration reports are generated, server roles are identified along with add ons such as SQL. Reporting includes the overview of applications (Microsoft). This report gives virtualization recommendation and assessment of Hyper-V server virtualization and desktop security.
This is one of Microsoft’s hidden gems that needs more publicity. Although you can find this software popular in larger environments, small and medium businesses need to take advantage of this tool. My recent download and install of this software went flawlessly. Implementations of this software can help hold down cost and administrative overhead. Implementations of this software can help hold down cost and administrative overhead.
Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit Solution Accelerator on Technet.